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Yellow Jade Orchid Tree, Fragrant Champaca, Fragrant Himalayan Champaca

Magnolia champaca

Family: Magnoliaceae
Genus: Magnolia (mag-NO-lee-a) (Info)
Species: champaca (cham-PAK-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Michelia avrantiaca
Synonym:Michelia champaca
Synonym:Michelia rheedii



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:

Gold (yellow-orange)

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Blooms repeatedly

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Scarify seed before sowing

By simple layering

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds

Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Claremont, California

Cypress, California

Escondido, California

Fremont, California

Lafayette, California

Los Angeles, California

Ontario, California

Perris, California

Redondo Beach, California

San Francisco, California

Seal Beach, California

Tustin, California

Vista, California(9 reports)

Fort Lauderdale, Florida(2 reports)

Hollywood, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Lake Mary, Florida(2 reports)

Lake Worth, Florida

Mulberry, Florida

Naples, Florida

North Port, Florida

Orlando, Florida(3 reports)

Rockledge, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

Titusville, Florida

Hana, Hawaii

Richmond, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 22, 2019, lancer23 from San Francisco, CA wrote:

This is a very popular tree because the flowers are so fragrant. So much so that people are stealing my flowers. I killed one by up rooted it from the ground (to prevent theft) by re-locating it. Now I have another one in a pot which bloom even when its so small 2ft.
The fragrance is very strong and intoxicating, if you have not yet smell it before, you have to.


On Sep 14, 2012, PratikN from Vashi,New Mumbai,
India wrote:

I am from India ...the perfect tropical condition it needs...all I want to ask is whether it is suitable for balcony garden?


On Jun 4, 2012, poocha from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

The golden champaca took 6-7 years to bloom.I truly wondered if it was a blooming tree.It is more hardy than michelia which I also have.The michelia is less tolerant of cold weather.It does sometimes lose half the tree to cold weather and sprouts up bu june-july.I feel because of this the tree does get tall,I get a chance to pick the blossoms.


On Apr 8, 2011, smartseeds from Claremont, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Here in dry California zone 9, my Michelia has done beautifully, bloomed and thrived, but it's clearly dependent on it's sheltered location - indirect northern exposure right by the house. Two years ago, a brief freeze lopped off 4' and left only side branches. Now it has sent up a new leader and seems very happy, but I would not say this is an easy-going plant outside its preferred tropical setting.

The fragrance makes me extremely happy, so I'm willing to give this plant special attention.

The seeds are especially challenging to germinate and need to be soaked in several changes of water to leach out germination inhibitors. Be prepared to do your homework and fuss over the seeds. But this is one of the few high-maintenance plants I have patience for. Th... read more


On Oct 16, 2008, Dinu from Mysore,
India (Zone 10a) wrote:

We had an old tree in our house before. It was chopped down when an extra room that was built, not because it was much in the way, but someone who had climbed it to pluck flowers for worship had fallen and injured. It was my grandmother who made got it removed due to that. I had seen it when young. THE BRANCHES ARE VERY WEAK. They cannot take much load. So be careful when climbing the tree. I used to try to climb it as a boy and my grandmother shouted from the window not to climb it!


On Nov 23, 2006, Hou_gardiner from Richmond, TX wrote:

4 years ago we bought 2 five foot tall Himalayan Champacas from a local Houston nursery. One of them developed black burn-like spots on the main branch, shed all the leaves and died. We moved the other one out of full sun into partial shade and it survived till now. We enjoy the beautiful light green leaves and the shade that it gives to our laundry room. It is happy with a few buckets of water weekly and an occasional handfull of osmocote fertilizer. When I see too many leaves turning yellow and dropping, I would cure it with a dose of liquid iron. We are disappointed that it never bloomed -our soil is close to pH 7, what is a save acidifier to use to lower the pH? If it still would not bloom, we may cut it down because it is only 5 feet from the house and the roots may damage the ... read more


On Jul 11, 2006, happy_girl from Redondo Beach, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

I purchased a 5 gallon Michelia Champaca tree last summer (2005) and although it has grown by leaps and bounds, it continues to shed brown leaves. During the winter, it looked very anemic as the leaves were way too light (the green color is normally a lighter shade not deep green). I find that I am constantly "grooming" the tree. Quite a few of the green leaves have borders of black along the edges and I haven't figured out what that's about.

In addition to constantly grooming the tree, I find that I am anxiously awaiting buds. Sometimes I think I see one beginning and it turns out to be a leaf! About 2 blocks down from me, there is a 15 to 20 foot Michelia Champaca that blooms constantly so I'm not sure if it's just that ours is too young or what.

I re... read more


On Jan 7, 2005, peterson89 from El Cajon, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

I planted 5 [rather expensive seeds] this past summer, in a cactus mix [ as per instructions]..only one of the seeds has germinated [took about 5 weeks] but very slow growing..It is my intentions to purchase a tree but too late in the season..
The seedling is healthy and strong but at this rate it will take for ever to grow and bloom I should imagine...


On Jun 9, 2004, desertboot from Bangalore,
India (Zone 10a) wrote:

A "sacred" tree in India, often planted close to Buddhist and Hindu temples. Two different flower colours: the common deep saffron, and another paler version. Heavenly fragrance!
(Note: one particularly spectacular heritage specimen, estimated to be over 500+ yrs old and truly gigantic can be forund in the Biligiri Rangaswamy Hills Wildlife Sanctuary in South India; when in full bloom, the fragrance spreads a radius of several kilometers! Local forest people consider the tree a living 'temple').

Planted one this Christmas morning.


On Dec 4, 2003, Clare_CA from Ventura,
United States (Zone 10b) wrote:

I grow two of these trees in containers, and one of them bloomed at only 8 feet tall this year. The fragrance of the flowers is best appreciated by not putting your nose directly in the flower. The scent is strong and intense and reminds me of incense with an East Indian flavor. The leaves look terrible between the end of summer and the beginning of winter as they go through their annual leaf shed. Monrovia and other growers call this tree an evergreen, but I think it should be labeled as semi-deciduous. In the spring, the tree redeems itself with new lush leaves and new growth.

The "neutral" rating is because of the condition of the leaves for half of the year and for the unusual fragrance of the flowers. The Michelia Alba, however, I would give a positive rating to... read more


On Jan 28, 2003, Heavenlygarden from Thousand Oaks, CA wrote:

I LOVE THIS TREE. Here in Los Angeles when we first planted this tree, it bloomed intensely from Spring to Summer with light intermittent bloom in Fall. Beautiful 2" across blooms along the branches, in between leaves. Heavenly citrus/honeysuckle type smell from yellow-orange flowers.

Lush, bright lime green leaves, to 10" long, which due to their shape, most people mistake it for an Avocado upon first sight. Tree has an overall Christmas tree like shape. We've had ours (purchased a 24" box) planted for 3 years now, and it's 20' tall and 10' wide (they tend not to be as tall in cultivation...a friend of ours has had one for 7 years and it's about 28' tall)

From the Eastern Himalayans. A highly unusual tree and somewhat rare. Every person who sees it com... read more